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How an unlikely builder from Birmingham has been helping children in Madagascar

Nazia Fazal from Moseley in Birmingham, doesn’t look like your stereotypical bricky, and she’s more used to sitting behind a desk than she is lifting bricks, but the 37 year old has just returned from a project in Madagascar where she has been helping with a construction project in a remote and impoverished village...

Nazia’s day job is working for the charity VoiceAbility, who help ‘people who are vulnerable or marginalised to raise their voices and have their rights respected’, but when she was looking for an unusual ‘holiday’ last month it was a charity of a different kind that caught her eye.

“As I work in an office a lot of the time I really wanted to do something that involved being outside, but I’m never any good on a beach holiday, so I started looking at things that were a little more out of the box. When I came across the charity Azafady, who help with humanitarian and
environmental work in Madagascar, I was sold. Their construction project meant I got to get my hands dirty whilst helping others, and at the same time visit an island that has always intrigued me from afar.”

Nazia signed up for a short-term construction programme helping build a latrine and desks for a local school in the village called Manambaro. 

Whilst in the village, Nazia found it a little hard adjusting to life without electricity or even proper running water, but she soon found that these inconveniences became insignificant once she began to see the project progress quickly and met some of the incredible children the building and desks would help.

It wasn’t all hard work and Nazia got a bit of time off to meet some of Madagascar’s most famous inhabitants, its lemurs, and spent some time exploring beautiful beaches and forests. 

Now back at work in her office, Nazia hopes to return to Madagascar and encourages anyone who is looking for something different to do this summer to follow in her footsteps and head to Madagascar with Azafay.

“Not only is Madagascar an incredible place to visit and a must for anyone with a sense of adventure, but I think Azafady differs from other development charities in that their projects are feasible in a short space of time, so you get to see the finished result for yourself, but sustainable having a long term impact for the local community.” 

 

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